To help future generations develop a bond with the natural environment, we offer children and adolescents experiences amidst the magnificent Finnish nature.
We work for a sustainable future by passing on knowledge and skills related to nature and the forest to the next generation by means of education and communication.
Environmental education has a positive impact on learning. It improves young people’s skills in going about in nature and using it sustainably, while it also advances their nature literacy, awareness of nature’s impacts on their wellbeing, and understanding of the way nature works.
Learning outdoors brings many health and wellbeing benefits: contact with nature makes it easier to think and encourages creativity, develops motor skills, promotes commitment to learning and the students’ coping, advances social skills and improves interaction within a group.
In Metsähallitus, environmental education is provided by Parks and Wildlife Finland, Wildlife Service Finland, other units of the Metsähallitus group and Forestry Ltd alike. A large number of Metsähallitus staff members interact with children, adolescents and educators while working on environmental education and communication addressed to young people.
Every year, some 37,000 children and adolescents are encountered at Metsähallitus’ service points around Finland. In particular, these encounters take the form of guided activities, including tours of exhibitions and guided walks on nature trails at visitor centres and Science Centre Pilke, in Haltia Nature School as well as in Wildlife Tutor and Junior Ranger activities. Additionally, Metsähallitus organises events, offers support and training for teachers and educators, produces digital teaching materials, carries out projects and supervises on-the-job learners. We also interact with organisations working with children and adolescents and other stakeholders.
Materials for enjoyable nature experiences
- Wilderness passport (eraluvat.fi). Children and adolescents familiarise themselves with wildlife and outdoor recreation to obtain a wilderness passport. This is a fun learning package intended for pupils, secondary school students, many types of clubs and anyone else with an interest in wildlife and outdoor activities.
- ABC’s of outdoor life (nationalparks.fi). Nature invites us to open up our senses. Understanding biodiversity and knowing how to go about in nature are important life skills and at the core of environmental education. The national parks, other nature destinations, and visitor centres with their services are an excellent and inexhaustible learning environment. Visit this page for helpful tips before you set off.
- Moved by Nature (pdf). A research in schoolchildren’s experiences of outdoor activities in nature. The main objective of the project was to promote children’s and young people’s health and wellbeing by increasing their levels of green exercise.
- MAPPA (mappa.fi). In MAPPA material bank you can find over one thousand material sets as well as tools for outdoor learning, environmental education, and teaching about sustainable living. These materials are mainly intended for educational and youth work. (A great number of hits can be found by selecting English as the language in the more detailed search; unfortunately, the headings of the publications are given in Finnish. You can find the English version by clicking on the Finnish heading.)
- Metsä.fi magazine (subjectaid.fi, in Finnish). Go to SubjectAid to subscribe to our magazine Metsä.fi or other free materials produced by us, for example for your school.